Streetwise Professor

April 9, 2009

Sergei Lavrov, Lying Through His Teeth

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 1:05 pm

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is apparently in a competition with Igor Sechin for the title of Mr. Mendacious.   Lavrov is obviously a proud graduate of the Molotov-Gromyko School of Foreign Relations.

First, Lavrov “warns against haste in North Korea“:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged countries not to jump to conclusions about North Korea’s weekend rocket launch, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency on Tuesday.

“We must avoid any hasty conclusions. Clearly this situation does not cause joy, it causes our concern. We would like to have a clear understanding of all details,” Lavrov was quoted as saying at a Moscow press conference.

Sure!   What’s the hurry?   We really need more time to understand all the details.   What the hell, this is only the latest chapter in a saga running since 1993, with major developments in 1994, 2006, and 2007.   We obviously haven’t had enough time, a mere 16 years, to comprehend what is going on here.   So let’s just give Lil’ Kim more time to perfect his ICBMs and nukes while the slow learners buy a clue.

C’mon Sergei.   Blackmail by a crazed, bankrupt regime ain’t that hard to understand.   But we know you understand.   You’re just playing dumb.   The fact is that you find turmoil very convenient for your revisionist, revanchist foreign policy.   Turmoil not just involving the NoKos, but Iran and other regions as well.   So you have no interest in mitigating this turmoil.   Quite to the contrary.   Keeping the various pots boiling is quite useful to you.

Item two: “Russia Warns US Against Competition for Allies“:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the United States and Russia should not force former Soviet republics to choose between an alliance with Washington and Moscow, RIA news agency reported on Thursday.

In remarks which appeared to refer to political disturbances in ex-Soviet Moldova, Lavrov said there should be no “hidden agendas” in relations between the United States and Russia.

“It is inadmissible to try to place a false choice before them — either you are with us or against us — otherwise this will lead to a whole struggle for spheres of influence,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the agency.

Lavrov denied Russia was seeking to build spheres of influence and said it was inappropriate to compare the violence in Moldova with protest movements that brought new leaders to power in other former Soviet republics such as Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

He said Russia had been disturbed by the events in Moldova and called on the European Union and NATO member Romania to ensure Moldovan statehood was not undermined by people waving Romanian flags.

OMG!   Waving Romanian flags!   Oh, the humanity!

“Lavrov denied Russia was seeking to build spheres of influence.”   Tell me another one.   And, by the way, consult with your (official, anyways) boss, President Medvedev, who last year clearly stated that Russia had “privileged interests.”   He obviously meant that Russia intended to assert spheres of influence in the “near abroad.”   Everyone understood him to mean as much.   He never denied these interpretations.

Moreover, let’s look at the walk, not the talk.   Whether it is the Caucusus, Central Asia, or Ukraine and Moldova, Russia is clearly using both force and bribery to prevent nations in these regions from getting close to the US.

Russia, as it never ceases telling us, is a sovereign nation.   It can make its own foreign policy choices.   But spare us, please, the Orwellian Sov-speak of denying the blindingly obvious.

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  1. I would challenge any of your readers, SWP, to explain how the behavior of the Soviet counterparts
    of these gentlemen was (or would have been) any different from this hideous display.

    And I would challenge them to explain how Russia can expect the U.S. to do anything other than to
    support Russia’s enemies, if Russia is going to support ours. The USSR went down this crazed path
    and it led right into the ashcan of history.

    Mr. Larov would be well advised to check the disparity between the US and Rusian GDPs, military budgets,
    adult lifespans, etc., and to read a little history (not written by a Russian idiot) before he conducts
    his nation’s foriegn policy. Then again, he may not in fact be able to read — one must admit he’s
    remarkably apelike in appearance.

    Comment by La Russophobe — April 9, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

  2. How about the fact that those protesters hospitalized police officers, destroyed state property and committed sedition against a government that won half the vote in an election described as free and fair even by Western observers?

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 9, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

  3. A “free and fair even by Western observers” election is a crock. There were irregularities as expressed by the opposition parties observing at the polls and tallying exit poll responses. Jimmy Carter has certified elections and we all know how much we trust his pathetic endorsements.

    No police officer was killed and “injured” can be very minor. Unfortunately there was vandalism, but, don’t blow the demeanor of the protest out of proportion. From the pictures circulating Russian LJ blogs it is pretty obvious that the police and the students weren’t out to harm each other.

    The bottomline is that Moldovian youth want to join the western sphere with their ethnic kin in Romania. They challenged the third term of a Moscow lackey.

    Comment by penny — April 9, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

  4. I condemn the violent, destructive protests in Moldova. Vlad Socor, in today’s Jamestown Eurasian Monitor (no Sov-symp he), suggests that the violence was premeditated and largely apolitical, “rioting for entertainment.” The fact that some protesters were waving Romanian flags, however, doesn’t exercise me in the least–although it was apparently a major source of anxiety for Sergei.

    Will you, DR, similarly condemn the use of force and influence operations against peaceful demonstrators in Russia?

    I may need to revise this post. It’s just hard to keep up with all the material Lavrov provides. Case in point. He also made the flat statement that BMD in Czech Republic/Poland has nothing to do with Iran. Since it is completely worthless against against Russian strategic strike capability, because of the small number of interceptors and their inability to do anything against Russian missiles using polar or Asian Russia-US trajectories, would Lavrov please tell us what they are for? And, Lavrov could put the issue to an acid test by taking serious measures to impede Iranian nuclear and ICBM developments, rather than enabling them, and running interference for Tehran. Indeed, the endless tantrums about the CR/POL missile installations is arguably just another part of a pro-Tehran strategy.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 10, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

  5. If there are enough communist supporters to win an election even with irregularities, the long-term fate of the place is not promising. The youth should flee and leave the place to it’s fate.

    Comment by Snake Oil Baron — April 10, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

  6. DR–“legally sanctioned protests.” That says it all. Free peoples have a right of association without the permission of their betters in government, and a right to carry out peaceful protests. The Russian government denies its people those rights.

    Funny, I never would have thought that a green communist would be so reverential/deferential towards law enforcement and power structures.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 10, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  7. DR, let me get this straight, I condemn the vandalism and injuries that occurred in Chisinau. It’s pretty obvious that Moldovian youth like many of their peers across Eastern Europe and in Russia are smack up against the cruel demographics that keeps older civically brain dead, risk adverse, nostalgic sovoks voting for the status quo. Decades of Communism rendered far too many of them in the same dilemma as liberated zoo animals, most can’t make it if restored to freedom. Watch yourself, you may end up like them.

    The Moscow Times underscores this:

    Beyond the elections and protests, we are seeing an enormous demographic and generation shift — a trend not only in Moldova but in other former Soviet republics as they rediscover and reassert their national identities. According to exit polls, the majority of Moldovans who voted for the Communists were older, rural and less educated. They also had fond memories of the “stable times” when Moldova was a Soviet republic. Opposition voters tended to be young, urban, educated and more drawn toward Europe and an integrated future.

    Comment by penny — April 10, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

  8. OK I actually read that rant and…

    Was the Russian Revolution a “legally sanctioned” protest????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Please, do tell of these “legally sanctioned” protests that have changed the course of a society and brought down corrupt regimes??????

    Thanks for proving my point 😉

    You’re addicted to arguing, SWP and your own verbose responses. blah blah blah.

    My comment to you = 22 words

    Your “comment” to me = 687 words


    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 10, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  9. PS. Interesting exercise. Why don’t you all take the political compass test?

    I got -6 economically, -4 politically (a year ago it was -1.25 and -3.59, so it seems I’ve moved quite a bit left). Then again, so have many other Americans (

    I am willing to bet that I am actually more politically liberal than most of you lot.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 10, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

  10. Yes, DR, it’s obvious that harsh Russian limitations on political protest are motivated by a touching concern for ensuring the free flow of traffic. And re Europe–how many thoroughfares were blocked during the recent G20? During various protests against the Iraq War throughout Europe? During the periodic French strikes, protests, etc.?

    One of your lamer efforts, dude. I usually don’t agree with you, but you usually do a lot better than that.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 10, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

  11. The reason those protests weren’t broken up was because the police calculated it would do more actual damage, physical and informational, if they were broken up. Not all unsanctioned protests are broken up in Russia either, you know.

    Speaking of which, a dude protesting (actually not protesting, just walking home) in G20 London got beaten up by the police and died from a heart attack minutes later. It would be interesting to consider what your reaction would have been if it had happened in Russia, though I don’t dare do that because that would be committing the sin of whataboutism.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 11, 2009 @ 12:42 am


    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 11, 2009 @ 4:57 am

  13. “Do you know what Green Communism is, and more importantly how to get there?”

    Please, if you can give us a synopsis in a few paragraphs, I’d love to know. Just cut to the chase, skip the popular revolution part and tell me what life would be like, a one day snapshot would be fine, in your utopia. One other question, how are recalcitrant environmental slobs dealt with, I’m sometimes too lazy to re-cycle?

    Comment by penny — April 11, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  14. Green Communism is the technological singularity.

    I will indeed skip the popular revolution part because is not necessary and will probably be counter-productive. A more gradualist, Gramscian approach is preferable.

    The prelude to GC is a highly socially liberal society, with gun rights, minimal bureaucracy and few regulations for small business. Recycling isn’t a big issue because it’s too much bother for limited effectiveness, so you need not worry about consequences for failing to do so – they’ll be small and probably non-existent. The main environmental efforts are directed towards reducing CO2 emissions at a global level through a contraction and convergence scheme, which in the US would focus on targeting big heavy industries and the transport sector to improve energy efficiency and reduce scales.

    Social security will be largely phased out and you will instead have to rely on your own savings (something I assume you’d approve of) or the rapidly developing communes (something similar to a kibbutz) to get by. The military will be largely cut with a small expeditionary force and a huge nuclear arsenal remaining (for deterrence). The saved money will be directed instead to intensified efforts in education and R&D, especially into areas like IT, systems theory, robotics, bioengineering and energy technologies.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 11, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

  15. DR, I like the no gulag consequences for my deviant behavior, thanks, and, the libertarian nod that I’m on my own in my old age makes sense, gun rights are good too. So far, so good.

    You are straddling the fence here, I think going with “Green Libertarian” is a better bet.

    Comment by penny — April 11, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  16. Well, personal responsibility and all that, penny. Conservatives should love it (until it bites them in the ass, perhaps). But anyhow I would give them the chance to practice it, and I would give liberals their dream to live in communes and rely on their free social support. And I save a lot, a lot of money. 😉

    I agree Green Libertarian is probably a better description, but Green Communist sounds better. Then again, paradoxically, libertarianism and communism have a great deal in common, i.e. the left-right spectrum probably curves in on itself to make a loop.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 12, 2009 @ 1:10 am

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